A week ago, two of BuzzFeed’s all-star “investigative journalists” reported a story accusing President Donald J. Trump of instructing his former personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, a felony.
Shortly thereafter, the story imploded when Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III debunked it, in a truly embarrassing display for the world-renowned listicle website. Editor-in-Chief of BuzzFeed’s news division, Ben Smith, doubled down on the story, claiming that his reporters’ anonymous sources knew more about the investigation than the Special Counsel himself.
Now, BuzzFeed is back in the headlines, and coincidentally (or perhaps not) the network will be laying off 15 percent of its staff, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
“BuzzFeed is planning to lay off about 15% of its workforce, according to people familiar with the situation, as the company seeks to reorient itself in a shifting digital-media landscape,” the report said. “The cuts could affect around 250 jobs, the people said. The firm, among the most high-profile digital-native publishers, also is looking to realign its resources to invest more in promising areas of the business like content licensing and e-commerce, one of the people said.”
Moving away from news and into content licensing is perhaps smart, given the website’s proclivity for viral cat videos, which is diametrically opposed to its reputation for hapless journalism.
The Journal said that BuzzFeed is considering a merger with “other digital media players.”
“Unfortunately, revenue growth by itself isn’t enough to be successful in the long run. The restructuring we are undertaking will reduce our costs and improve our operating model so we can thrive and control our own destiny, without ever needing to raise funding again,” BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti reportedly told his staff in a memo.
America might just have to figure out how to survive with fewer listicles and fake news “bombshells,” a truly grim prospect.
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As Trump Leaves Office, Media Cites Ineffectiveness of Lockdowns and Democratic Leaders Display Eagerness to Reopen
Right on cue.
With President Donald Trump’s impending exit from the White House, many are starting to perceive pivots from Democratic leaders and the mainstream media on the ineffectiveness of lockdowns and the reopening of society.
For example, Newsweek ran an article Thursday titled “COVID Lockdowns May Have No Clear Benefit vs Other Voluntary Measures, International Study Shows.” The study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, found through a mathematical model that there was “no clear, significant beneficial effect of [more restrictive measures] on [COVID-19] case growth in any country.”
This is just one study, of course, so it may not reflect objective reality any more than one study which concludes that lockdowns saved “millions of lives.” But after getting bombarded with messages from the media that lockdowns were necessary—with the opposite message found only on explicitly conservative outlets like Big League Politics—it may seem too coincidental to see such a story while the changing of the presidential guard takes place.
Not only that, it also comes at a time when some Democratic leaders appear to be chomping at the bit to reopen restaurants, bars, and schools—after several months of harsh insistence that they all must stay closed in the name of “safety” and “public health.”
On Monday, for example, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York called for the reopening of the state’s economy “smartly and safely.”
“We simply cannot stay closed until the vaccine hits critical mass. The cost is too high. We will have nothing left to open. We must reopen the economy, but we must do it smartly and safely,” Cuomo tweeted.
We simply cannot stay closed until the vaccine hits critical mass. The cost is too high. We will have nothing left to open. We must reopen the economy, but we must do it smartly and safely.#SOTS2021
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) January 11, 2021
Mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot put out a similar call on Thursday, saying that bars and restaurants need to reopen “as quickly as possible” because it will help those businesses survive and reduce the number of large private parties and gatherings.
And incoming president Joe Biden recently pitched a $175 billion plan to return children to school, $130 billion of which would be for public elementary, middle, and high schools, the other $35 billion for colleges and universities. Many teachers unions stubbornly refused to return to in-person classes for the longest time, but now that Biden has come out in support of in-person classes, don’t be surprised to see them suddenly change their tune.
The left is so predictable, isn’t it?
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